Florence Billings Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Florence Billings Papers include correspondence, journal entries, reports for Near East Relief, travel notes, typescripts of articles and her thesis, clippings, photographs, and memorabilia. There is a small amount on her relief work in World War I France and her travels in Europe, but the collection focus is on the work of Florence Billings and her colleague Annie T. Allen with the Near East Relief in Turkey and Greece from 1920-22 and Billings' subsequent travels in, and writings concerning, the Middle East.
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE includes letters from Turkish feminist Halidé Edib, and the American High Commissioner in Constantinople, Mark Bristol, to Billings. In her correspondence to her sisters Billings writes from a trip to Russia in 1912 and later work in Turkey for NER.
SERIES III. WRITINGS includes handwritten drafts and typescripts of reports, articles, notes, and journal entries that record the details of Billings' relief work as well as the political and social changes of Konea, Brousa, Constantinople, and other Turkish and Greek sites where Billings and Allen traveled. In a draft typescript entitled "Constantinople to Konia" (Sep 1920 - Jan 1921), Billings writes of being trapped with women and children in an orphanage in Konia at the outbreak of the Turkish revolution and having to make her way through the streets amidst gunfire to collect bread from the bakery. Her travel diary and notes outline Billings' journey through Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran between 1924 and 1928 and the meetings she had with high level officials. Billings' Masters thesis entitled "Causes of the Outbreak in Cilicia, Asia Minor, April 1909," examines the "real causes of the troubles between Moslems and non-Moslems in the Ottoman Empire," among them the "expansionist and protective policies of Europe." There are also drafts of articles she wrote on topics relating to the Middle East.
Writings and correspondence to and from Annie T. Allen are found in SERIES IV, including letters from Halidé Edib, a typescript of her diary of her trip through the interior of Turkey with Florence Billings, and descriptions of being in Konia during the outbreak of revolution and their meeting with nationalist leader Mustapha Kamal Pasha.
SERIES V. PHOTOGRAPHS includes portraits and group shots of Turkish officials and others in Turkey. Included are Mustafa Kemal, Halidé Edib (identified as Halidé Hanoum on photos), Refet Pasha, Prime Minister Fethy Bey, and various Near East Relief representatives. There are also numerous images of the Turkish country side, village scenes, and unidentified people. Many of the photographs are unlabeled and undated but most, if not all were probably taken by Florence Billings, circa 1919-22.